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No. 78 



November, 1964 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 




ONTARIO 



UJ> 



fl 



DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 



Hon. A. Kelso Roberts, Q.C. 
Minister 



F.A. MacDougall 
Deputy Minister 



(These Reports are for Intra- Departmental Information 
and not for Publication) 



No. 78 November, 1964 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 




ONTARIO 



DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND FORESTS 
Fish and Wildlife Branch 



Hon. A Kelso Roberts, Q.C. F.A MacDougall 

Minister Deputy Minister 



(These Reports are for Intra- Departmental Information 
and not for Publication) 



RESOURCE MANAGEMENT REPORT 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 
No. 7: November, 1964 



Page 



Wood Duck Banding Project, Lake Erie 
District, 1963. 

- by D. M. Brooks 



Geraldton District Ruffed Grouse Studies 
- 1963. 

- by B. H. Gibson 



The 1963 Deer Season, Sault Ste. Marie 
District. 

- by N. R. Payne 14 



The Use of Daily Commercial Fishing Records 
to Describe the Seasonal Distribution of the 
American Smelt in the Central Basin of Lake 
Erie. 

- by R. D. Thomasson 35 



Winter Angling for Brook Trout in the 
Port Arthur Forest District. 

- by P, Nunan 47 



Report on the White Lake Fishery Project, 
1963. 

D. J. Rice 5< 



(THESE REPORTS ARE FOR INTRA- DEPARTMENTAL 
INFORMATION AND NOT FOR PUBLICATION) 



WOOD DUCK BANDING PROJECT, LAKE ERIE DISTRICT, 1963 

by 
D. M. Brooks, Biologist 

Abstract 

One thousand one hundred and thirty-eight ducks and 
three Canada Geese were leg banded between July 13 
and September 22, 1963. One thousand and fifty-nine 
of these were banded in South Walsingham Township, 
including Long Point, and 82 were banded in Yarmouth 
Township in Elgin County. Included in this number 
were 132 wood ducks. This was a contribution to a 
project initiated by the Mississippi Flyway Council 
to band wood ducks. Banding was conducted with the 
authority of Canadian Wildlife Service, using U. S. 
Fish and Wildlife bands and a record of band numbers 
and other pertinent data are on file at District 
Office at Ay liner. 



Purpose 

The Mississippi Flyway Council has placed special 
emphasis on the study of wood ducks. One phase of this study is 
the banding of wood ducks during the summer and fall. In an effort 
to ensure that sufficient birds are banded to make a reliable study, 
a goal or quota was set for each province and state within the 
Flyway where wood ducks could be captured. The goal for Ontario 
was set at 500 birds. The Lake Erie District co-operated in this 
program during the summer of 1963. 

Methods 



Three part-time employees hired during the summer 
conducted the field work under direction of Departmental personnel. 
Mr. Ted Hart, a University student was employed from June 15 to 
August 30. Mr. Ted Ackert, a recent graduate of the Ontario Forest 
Ranger School, was assigned to this project from August 6 to 
September 15. Mr. Marshall Field, an experienced bird bander from 
St. Thomas, Ontario, assisted during week-ends and other times 
during this program and participated in all banding done after 
September 15. 



- 2 - 

Six portable traps were constructed, three of these, six 
foot square and four feet high, while the other three were cubical 
in shape having each side four feet long. The sides were formed 
of one-by-two inch mesh, 16 gauge, welded wire, the bottoms of two 
inch mesh poultry netting covered with burlap to retain and make 
bait available. One inch mesh fish netting was used for the tops 
of the traps, a precaution to prevent trapped birds from scalping 
themselves when attempting to fly, A single funnel-type entrance, 
14 inches deep, tapering from 10 to three inches, was made at the 
front of each trap. Removal of captured birds was accomplished by 
loosening a portion of the roof netting and scooping them up in a 
long-handled dip net. 

The portable traps were set in four ponds on private 
property in South Walsinghaci Township of Norfolk County and in 
ponds on Long Point Provincial Park. 

A permanent trap 20 * x 20' square, located at a feeding 
sanctuary on Long Point Provincial Park was also operated during 
the late summer. 

Traps were baited with shelled corn, wheat and barley. 
Captured birds were examined to determine species, sex and age, 
were banded and then liberated. 

Results 

A total of 1,056 ducks was banded during the 1963 wood 
duck banding program in Lake Erie District at Long Point Provincial 
Park and vicinity. Table 1 shows the catch by species, sex and 
age composition of these birds by semi-monthly periods. 

The 47 adult males banded constituted 45.6 per cent of 
the catch of 103 wood ducks taken from July 16 to September 22, 
1963; nine adult females, 8,7 per cent, 29 immature males, 28.2 
per cent and 1C immature females, 17,5 per cent. In all there were 
56 or 54.3 per cent adult wood ducks and 47 or 45.7 per cent 
immatures banded during this period. The high percentage of adult 
males probably is a result of a catch from a flock of males which 
were together during the post nuptial period and as yet had not 
joined with a migration group. 

Although the primary objective of the program was to trap 
and band wcod ducks a total of 947 other ducks was also captured. 
There were 605 blue-winged teal banded, 8 green-winged teal, 200 
mallards, 56 black ducks, one American widgeon (baldpate) and one 
pintail. In addition three Canada geese which had been raised in 
the sanctuary at Long Point were also banded. 



Records were not maintained showing days when traps were 
set or run. However, the portable traps were used exclusively 
from July 13 to August 30. During this period 09 ducks were 
banded of which 51 were wood ducks. The permanent sanctuary trap 
was the only trap operated from August 31 to September 22. A 
total of 54 wood ducks or 51.4 per cent of the total wood ducks 
banded were taken in this trap« These 54 wood ducks were all taken 
during the period August 31 to September 15. Excessive baiting 
or heavy feeding at or in the vicinity of the trap site may have 
been responsible for the poor trapping success of wood ducks in 
the period of September 16 to 22. In all 89 or 8.4 per cent of 
all ducks banded were taken in the portable traps while 967 ducks, 
91.6 per cent were taken in the permanent trap. Table 2 shows the 
catch by species between the portable traps and the permanent 
sanctuary trap. 

An additional 82 ducks were banded by Mr. R. A. Hubert 
under the direction of Mr. Marshall Field, an Ontario Bird Bander 
Association member at Corner's Pond, Lot 15, Concession IV, Yarmouth 
Township, Elgin County. Species composition of these birds was 
27 wood ducks, 22 blue-winged teal, 8 green-winged teal, 20 mallards, 
3 black ducks and 2 pintails,, 

All birds banded in this program at Long Point Provincial 
Park and vicinity and at Corner's Pond were banded under the authority 
of a banding permit, held by Mr. Marshall Field of St. Thomas, 
Ontario. 

A mortality of 18 ducks lost in trapping operation was 
reported. Eleven were killed by raccoons, three by mink or weasel, 
two were trampled to death by other ducks in the trap, one was lost 
to a snapping turtle and one sustained a broken neck in the trap. 

Conclusion and Recommendations 

Trapping of local wood ducks on their rearing ponds is 
usually expensive and time consuming. Greater numbers could probably 
be taken by restricting trapping to locales when migrant groups 
gather. 

It is recommended that future waterfowl banding conducted 
or sponsored by the Department of Lands and Forests be done under a 
banding permit issued to a member of the district staff. This would 
ensure that all banding records would be maintained in a uniform 
manner since the employee holding the banding permit would be 
responsible for submitting banding schedules to the Fish and Wildlife 
Branch. The District Office would receive reports of subsequent 
recaptures or recoveries of birds banded under authority of permit 
issued to a staff member.* 



* Please refer to Circular F.W. 12-2, dated August 18, 1964. 



.' ! 



, ■ 



Acknowledgments 



The valuable contribution to this project of the follow- 
ing participants is gratefully acknowledged: Mr. Marshall Field 
and Mr. R. A. Hubert of St. Thomas, Mr. Hart and Mr. Edward Ackert, 
sunnier assistants in biology, and Mr. T. L. Beck, Superintendent of 
Long Point Provincial Park. 



TABLE 1 



SPECIES, 



SEX AND AGE COMPOSITION BY SEMI-MONTHLY 
PERIODS OF 1,056 DUCKS BANDED AT LONG POINT 
PROVINCIAL PARK, 1963 





Jul. 16-31 


Aug. 1-15 


Aur. 16-31 


Sep. 1-15 


Sep. 16-22 


Total 


Per Cent 


Wood duck 






11 


36 




47 


45.6 


Ad. era 


Ad. 99 


- 


- 


4 


5 


- 


9 


8.7 


In. era 


11 


10 


3 


5 


- 


29 


28.2 


In. 99 
Total 


4 


8 


5 


1 


- 


18 


17.5 


15 


18 


23 


47 


- 


103* 


B.W. Teal 






9 


15 


4 


28 


4.1 


Ad. d-d- 


Ad. 99 


- 


- 


2 


63 


19 


84 


12.3 


In. era 


- 


- 


35 


187 


on 
OO 


310 


45.2 


Im. 99 
Total 


- 


- 


29 


155 


75 


263 


38.4 


- 


- 


75 


420 


190 


685 


G.W. Teal 














0.0 


Ad. era 


Ad. 99 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 


1 


12.5 


Im. era 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 


1 


12.5 


In. 99 
Total 


_ 


1 


- 


3 


2 


6 


75.0 


- 


1 


- 


3 


4 


8 


Mallard 






3 


30 


3 


36 


18.0 


Ad. era 


Ad. 99 


- 


- 


1 


14 


° 


15 


7.5 


Im. era 


~ 


- 


6 


45 


9 


60 


30,0 


Im. 99 
Total 


- 


- 


. 14 


57 




89 


44.5 


- 


- 


24 


146 


30 


200 


Black Duck 








2 




2 


3.6 


Ad. era 


Ad. 99 


- 


- 


_ 


4 


- 


4 


7.1 


Im. era 


- 


- 


1 


22 


4 


27 


48.2 


Im. 99 
Total 


- 


- 


3 


16 


4 


23 


41.1 


- 


- 


4 


44 


Q 

O 


56 


Total Ducks 


15 


19 


126 


660 


232 


1052** 

















One additional immature male wood duck banded July 13, 1963. 
One additional wood duck banded July 30, 1963, sex and age not 
determined. 



** One immature male baldpate and one immature female pintail also 
banded in the program. 



TABLE 2 COMPARISON OF CATCH BY SPECIES OF 1,056 DUCKS 
BETWEEN PORTABLE AND SANCTUARY TRAPS AT 
LONG POINT PROVINCIAL PARK, 1963 





Portable Traps Sanctuary Trap 

(July 13 to Aug. 30) (Aug. 21 to Sept 


. 22) 




NO. 


PER CENT 


NO. 


PER CENT 


TOTAL 


Wood duck 


51 


48.6 


54 


51.4 


105 


Blue-winged 
teal 


34 


5.0 


651 


95.0 


605 


Green-winged 
teal 


1 


12.5 


7 


87.5 





Mallard 


J 


1.5 


197 


98.5 


200 


Black 


- 


- 


56 


100.0 


56 


Pintail 


„ 


- 


1 


100.0 


1 


American 

widgeon 

(Baldpate) 


- 


- 


1 


100.0 


1 


Total 


09 


8.4 


967 


91.6 


1,056 



■ ••- 



GERALDTON DISTRICT RUFFED GROUSE STUDIES - 1963 

by 
B. H. Gibson, Biologist 



Abstract 

Ruffed grouse production appeared tc be lower in 1963 
than in 1962. A summer average brood size of 5.4 
chicks was recorded. This was the lowest average 
during the last four years. Predictions of poor to 
fair hunting from 196? resulted. Hunting success on 
foot increased from the 16.5 birds shot per 100 man- 
hours in 1962 to 25.0 grouse in 1963. A continued 
decline in grouse shot per 100 car -miles by automobile 
hunters was noted. This group shot only 1.2 birds in 
1963 comnared with 2.3 for each 100 car -miles driven 
in 1962." 



Ruffed Grouse Production Studies 

Thirty broods of ruffed grouse were recorded by conserva- 
tion officers between June and September 1963 during regular 
patrols. The number of broods recorded between 1960 and 1963 has 
varied from the low of 27 in 1962 to the high of 39 observed in 
1961. 

The average brood size of 8.0 chicks for June, 1963 is 
not significant because only three broods were recorded for this 
month. For July, the average brood size was 4.1 juveniles. For 
the same month of 1962, the average was 6.3 young per brood. This 
would indicate that survival was poorer for June of 1963. In 
August of 1963, broods averaged 4.3 young, while in 1962, for the 
same month, a brood average of 5.7 chicks was observed. The average 
brood size for September, ISC 3 is not likely significant because of 
the small number of broods (3) sighted. 

It appears that ruffed grouse production in the Geraldton 
District decreased in 1963. The 1963 brood size average of 5.4 
grouse suggested an average decrease of .5 grouse per brood over 
1962 and was the lowest average during the last four years. In 
1962, only five out of 18 districts recorded summer averages less 
than 5.4 chicks per brood (Roseborough, 1963). 



There does not appear to be any clearly defined trend in 
annual brood production in the District , Ac Table I shows, the 
highest average summer production between 1960 and 1SS3 occurred 
in 1960. In that year, the broods averaged 6.0 chicks; the average 
dropped to 5.6 for 1961; it rose to 5.9 in 1962, before dropping 
to the new four year low of 5.4 in 1963. 

The small number of broods sighted and the reduced 
average brood size during the summer of 1963 indicated that hunting 
would be poor to fair, The August brood size average of only 4,3 
chicks verified that hunting prospects were not good. After study- 
ing the hunter success data, our predictions of a poor to fair 
grouse hunt were confirmed. 

Hunter Success for Ruffed Grou s e During 1963 

As was previously mentioned, pre- season predictions of 
a poor to fair hunt for grouse were verified by a study of the 
hunt data. The data were again collected on H-50 cards. Conserva- 
tion officers collected this information in the field; selected 
grouse hunters also contributed to the study. 

A total of 61 hunter study cards was received for the 
1963 hunt. Of these, 27 or 44.3 per cent were from hunters on 
foot. Thirty-four or 55.7 per cent indicated hunting from cars. 

(a) Hunting on Foot - 1963 

Hunters on foot saw an average of 38.3 grouse and shot 
25.0 birds for each 100 man-hours in the field during the 1963 
hunting season. A 66.0 per cent increase in grouse shot occurred 
over 1962 when 27.5 birds were seen and 16.5 were harvested per 
100 man-hours. This closely approximates the lowest hunter 
success found in Ontario during 1962 in the Cochrane District 
where 13.0 grouse were shot for each 100 man-hours of hunting 
according to ?„oseborough„ (op.cit.). 

It appears as if the three year decline in hunter success 
experienced between I960 and 1962 has ended. Hunter success may 
be on the upswing. The success figures for hunters on foot compare 
favourably with the averages of between 25 and 35 grouse shot for 
much of Ontario during 1962 in Rcseborough' s studies. Table II 
illustrates the hunter success data for hunters on foot during 1963. 



In 1963, only one of the 27 parties (3.1%) indicated 
using a dog. This is greatly reduced from the three year average of 
23.7 per cent who used dogs between 1960 and 1962 (Gibson 1962). In 
Table IV, hunter success on foot is compared for the years 1960 to 
1963 inclusive. 

(b) Hunting by Car - 1963 

In contrast with hunting on foot, hunting from an auto 
in 1963 was less rewarding than at any time since 1959. This 
year, 1.2 grouse were shot and 2.3 were seen for each 100 car- 
miles; in 1962 2.3 birds were shot while 3.0 were sighted in that 
distance. It is not known why hunting from a car was less fruit- 
ful in 1963, while hunting on foot was better. The data for the 
years 1960 to 1963 inclusive for car hunters are compared in 
Table V. 

Discussion 

I believe that the hunter success data for 1963 reflect 
accurately the quality of the hunt. Efforts to convince selected 
hunters to report on all hunts are meeting more response. As 
Tables IV and V show, the number of birds shot per 100 man-hours 
in 1960 appeared to be almost 400 per cent greater than for 1962 
for hunters on foot. Similarily, for hunters using cars, success 
appeared to be almost 200 per cent greater for 1961 than 1962. 

These apparent declines in hunter success rates in 1963, 
except for road hunters, are believed to result from increasing 
co-operation from hunters in reporting non- successful hunts. 
Previous to 1962, it appeared that only successful parties sub- 
mitted H-50 cards. Only a small number of these cards indicated 
hunters had not seen or shot a grouse prior to 1962. 

In 1962, however, 31 of 51 study forms indicated that 
hunters had not seen or shot a grouse. Thirty cards for 1963 
reported hunters had not seen or shot a grouse. We asked the 
selected grouse hunters in 1962 and 1963 to report all hunts to 
us, whether successful or not- in bagging birds. Evidently this 
has been partially successful, for hunting success appeared to 
drop for these two years. This is probably a reflection of a 
less biased sample rather than a reduced quality hunt. Consequently 
the data for I960 and 1961 probably cannot be compared reliably 
with that for 1962 and 1963. 



- 10 - 

There is confusion on the part of hunters in filling 
out the K-5Q cards. For instance, some hunters continue to 
report that they record mileages driven to an area where they 
plan to hunt, although actual hunting does not occur until 
they reach the hunting locality. 

Some hunters are unsure if they should report on grouse 
shot while noose hunting. Others are uncertain of the term "man- 
hours" as used on the K-50 cards. Some hunters simply record time 
in hours. This makes it difficult to analyze the data in some 
cases as it is hard to tell if man-hours or hours hunting is 
designated. This could be simplified by reverting to the original 
H-50 card where actual hours hunting rather than man-hours was 
recorded. 

Summary and Conclusions 

Thirty broods of ruffed grouse were recorded by conserva- 
tion officers during the summer of 1963. The 5.4 chicks per brood 
average for the summer was the lowest since 1959. Hunting success 
was poor to fair for the district. Hunters on foot increased 
their success over that of 1962« In 1963, 25.0 grouse were shot for 
each 100 man-hours expended by this group. Hunters using automobiles 
experienced reduced success, bagging only 1.2 grouse per 100 
car -miles. 

Literature Cited 

Gibson, B. I-I. 1963. Ruffed Grouse in the Geraldton District 
1962. Resource Mgt. Rept., 69:44-50. 

Roseborough, J. D. 1963. Ruffed Grouse Studies 1962. Ontario 

Dept. of Lands & Forests, Fish and Wildlife Branch, 
5 pp. 



11 



TABLE I - Ruffed Grouse Brood Counts 1960 to 1963 



Month 


1963 
No. of 
Broods 

3 


1962 
No. of 
Broods 

8 


1961 
No. of 
Broods 

14 


IS 60 
No. of 

Broods 


1963 
Aug. 
brood 
size 

8.0 


1962 

Aug. 
brood 

size 

6.6 


1961 
Aug. 
brood 

size 

6.1 


1960 
Aug. 
brood 
size 


June 




e 


7.4 


July 


17 


12 


15 




20 


4.1 


6.3 


4.9 


6.0 


August 


7 


6 


10 




7 


4.3 


5.7 


5.7 


4.6 


September 


3 


1 










5.3 


5.0 








Totals 


~30 


~27 


"39 




32 


Avg.5.4 


iT? 


176 


6.0 



TABLE II - Raffed Grouse Hunter Success on Foot During 1963 



u* 



Period 



Ruffed Ruffed 
No. of Total Hours Man- Grouse Grouse Dog Dog 
Parties Hunters Hunting hours Seen Shot Used Not Used 



Sept. 14-15 


3 


5 


9.5 


17 


6 


3 


1 


2 


Sept. 16-22 


3 


3 


7 


7 


2 


1 





3 


Sept. 23-29 


2 


2 


6 


6 











2 


Sept. 30-Oct.6 


2 


3 


6 


8 


4 


3 





2 


Oct. 7-13 




17 




50.5 


27 


16 





9 


Oct. 14-20 




11 


9 


19 


3 


3 





5 


Leaf Fall 


















Oct. 21-27 


1 


1 


2 


2 











1 


Oct. 28-Nov.3 


2 


2 


6.5 


6.5 


3 


3 





2 


Totals 


27 


44 


71.5 


116.0 


45 


29 


1 


26 



- 12 - 
TABLE III - Ruffed Grouse Hunter Success by Autoaobile during 1963 



Number of Total Total Ruffed Ruffed 
Period Parties Hunters Car-niles Grouse Seen Grouse Shot 



Sept. 14-15 




4 


7 


150 


7 


6 


Sept. 16-22 




10 


14 


759 


7 


2 


Sept. 23-29 




n 


18 


155 








Sept. 30-0ct 


.6 


2 


3 


40 


2 


1 


Oct. 7-13 




5 


10 


395 


7 


3 


Oct. 14-20 




m 


M 


a 


- 


- 


Leaf Fall 














Oct. 21-27 




- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Oct, 28-Nov. 


3 


2 


2 


37 


3 


1 


Nov. 4-10 




1 


3 


25 


2 


1 



Nov. 11-17 - 

Nov. 18-24 1 2 15 3 2 

Nov. 25-Dec. 1 1 4 55 7 3 

Totals 34 63 1631 38 19 



TABLE IV - Comparison of Hunter Success On Foot For Years I960 to 
1S63 Inclusive 



Year 


Total 
Hunters 


Man- 
hours 


Birds seen per 
100 man-hours 


Birds shot per 
100 nan- hours 


1960 


43 


124 


84.2 




60.1 


1961 


35 


70 


75.7 




35.7 


1962 


38 


109 


27.5 




16.5 


1963 


44 


116 


38 .8 




25.0 



TABLE V - Comparison of Hunter Success by Auto For Years 1960 to 
1963 Inclusive 



Year 


Total 
Hunters 


Total 
Car-miles 


Birds seen per 
100 car-miles 


Birds shot per 
100 car-miles 


1960 


66 


1348 




6.6 






5.7 


1961 


41 


990 




7.9 






4.1 


1962 


103 


2549 




3.0 






2.3 


1963 


63 


1631 




2.3 






1.2 



- 14 - 
THE 1963 DEER SEASON, SAULT STE. MARIE DISTRICT 



N. R. Payne 

Biologist 



Abstract 



This report summarizes effort, success and age composi- 
tion data obtained in the field and from camp and hunter 
questionnaires. It provides an interpretation of the 
observed changes from the previous year in light of 
hunting conditions. Despite poor hunting weather, 
hunter success improved slightly. A success of 13.0, 
16.4 and 29.8 per cent is indicated, for resident, 
farmer and non-resident hunter, respectively. Only 
32 camps reported in 1963, less than half the number 
in the 1962 sample. The records for hunters occupying 
camps show that they required 20.8 man-days of hunting 
per deer, two more than in 1962. Two out of four 
hunting zones received 69 per cent of the hunting 
effort and yielded 89 per cent of the total kill, which 
is estimated to have been 339 deer. Of these, 100 
were aged and an additional 12 were classified as 
adults. Fawns comprised 32.1 per cent of this sample, 
an improvement over 1962. It is recommended that the 
season for St. Joseph Island be extended to two weeks 
and be timed to coincide with the season on the 
mainland. 



Introduction 

Hunting, in addition to providing enjoyment to the hunter, 
offers a means by which vital information on the relative abundance 
(other factors being constant), reproduction and survival of deer 
can be obtained. This information is necessary for a proper program 
of deer management. 

Changes in the availability of deer to the hunter from one 
year to the next depend on the proportion of deer escaping the 
hunters during the previous season, the survival of these deer in 
the intervening year, and the number of offspring which they produce. 
The proportion of deer escaping the hunters, especially in Sault Ste. 
Marie District where hunter densities are light, is usually large 
and year to year variations in this proportion can be considered 
of minor significance. Survival and reproduction, however, are 
important and both are greatly influenced by a combination of 



- 15 - 

climatic and range conditions. Severe winters confine deer to 
areas where cover requirements are met and in these areas the food 
supply can become exhausted, especially if the period of confine- 
ment is lengthy When this happens starvation depletes the herd 
and, equally important , death is caused to many fawns of under- 
nourished does., Fawns of the previous spring are less able to 
compete for food than mature deer and, therefore, suffer first when 
the supply of browse becomes critical. Thus two successive 
year-classes can be seriously affected by cne bad winter. 

Spring surveys, conducted annually, assess the effects 
of winter on the deer population, in addition to providing informa- 
tion on range condition and deer density. The 1963 survey revealed 
that starvation was not an important mortality factor over the winter 
of 1962-63, although certain yarding areas were browsed to a 
degree considered injurious to future food production. On the 
basis of this survey and field observations which indicated the 
deer were in satisfactory condition at the end of the winter, 
improved hunter success for the 1963 season was forecast. 

Methods 

Information on hunter effort and success was again 
collected by moans of a questionnaire sent out to random samples 
of resident, farmer and non-resident licencees. Those hunters in 
the sample who were residing locally and whose telephone numbers 
were given were questioned by telephone, Approximately 20 per 
cent of the resident and 33 per cent each of the farmer and 
non-resident hunters were contacted either by mail or by telephone. 

Checking stations were not r sy rated as this method 
has proven ineffective in obtaining the required age composition 
information in this area, Instead, the members of the field 
.staff concentrated en contacting hunters both in the field and at 
the camps o This deployment of conservation officers (including 
special appointees) yields larger samples of aged deer than by 
other methods ana at the same time allows these men to function 
more effectively as enforcement officers. 

A hunt camp report form was circulated to each 
organized camp by the conservation officers, who requested that 
one member of the camp record daily the number of men hunting 
and deer killed. These reports were to be returned upon termination 
of the season. In this way a further assessment of the hunt was 
obtained, which could serve as a cross check on the mail survey 
results. 



- 16. - 

Two methods of estimating total kill have been employed. 
The first method involves the application of the estimated rate of 
hunter success to the estimated number of active licencees. The 
second method is based on the Lincoln index principle. The officers 
recorded the licence numbers of successful hunters, when possible, 
and these numbers served as marks in the population of individuals 
who took deer. Later sampling of this population was done by means 
of the hunter questionnaire. The estimate of total kill was then 
derived through the use of the following equation: 

Total kill = No. of successful hunters in Total no# of licen ces 

survey sample ^__ x recorded in the 

No. of above whose licence field 
numbers were noted in the field 

This latter method was applied independently to resident, 
farmer and non-resident hunters. 

Results 

Total licence sales in the Sault Ste. Marie District in 
1963 climbed slightly to 2780* from 2697* in 1962, an increase of 
3.1 per cent. It appears from this small increase that 1962 
climaxed the period of decline in the number of hunters in the 
Algoma District. Licence sales to farmers showed the most marked 
change, increasing by 10 per cent. This may be due largely to the 
warm fall which facilitated the harvesting of crops. Residents 
and non-residents purchased 1.3 and 6.2 per cent more licences, 
respectively. 

Questionnaires were returned from only 32 organized camps, 
fewer than half of the number which reported in 1962. • Dissolu- 
tion of. some camps and amalgamation of others reduced the number 
of active camps but not to the extent indicated by the decline in 
camp questionnaires. It is obvious that a smaller proportion of 
the camps was contacted in 1963. The information gathered from 
the camp questionnaires is presented in Table I, along with 
corresponding data for 1962. A breakdown of the camp hunter success 
by area was not considered feasible because of the small number 
of camps in the sample. 

The 303 hunters occupying the 32 camps killed 88 deer 
for an overall success of 29.0 per cent. These hunters expended 
1828 man-days, indicating that, on the average, 20.8 man-days were 
required to shoot one deer. In 1962, camp hunters spent 10.8 man- 
days per deer, so it would appear that those hunting in camps 
experienced slightly poorer hunting in 1963. However, the smaller 
sample of camps detracts from the reliability of the man-days 
per deer estimates as an indication of the trend in hunting. 

*As indicated by the licence book covers returned to District 
Office. 



TABLE I 



17 - 



Organized Camp Hunter Success for Sault 



Ste. 


Marie Disti 


:£ct„ 1962 and 


1963 






1963 


Organized Camps 




Organized Camps 


with & without dogs 




with dogs 


without dogs 


1962 


1963 


No. of Camps 


11 


21 


74 


32 


No. of Licences 


135 


168 




303 


No, of Deer 


56 


32 


177 


88 


% hunter success 


41.4 


19.1 




29.0 


Total days hunted 


918 


910 


3317 


1828 


Man- days per deer 


16.4 


28.4 


18.8 


20.8 



You will note that no comparison has been made of the 

estimates for per cent hunter success in 1962 and 1963. For 1963 
the total number of licences which could have been filled has been 
used in calculating the rate of hunter success Whereas in the 
previous year the mean number of hunters operating from the camp 
over the camping duration was used to arrive at an estimate of 
hunter success , Therefore , the reported camp hunter success in 
the two years cannot be compared. 

Camp hunters using dogs again enjoyed better success than 
those hunting without dogs. With dogs, hunters were 41.4 per cent 
successful and required only 16.4 man-days of hunting per deer. 
Those not using dogs hunted 28.4 man-days per deer and only 19.1 
per cent of this group took deer. 

A summary of the findings of the deer hunter questionnaire 
sent out to resident, farmer and non-resident hunters appears in 
Table II. The return of book covers was not complete at the time 
of the survey so the actual per cent sampled is somewhat less than 

the 20 and 33 per cent indicated earlier. 



TABLE II 



- r - 



Results of the Hunter Questionnaire 
Sault Ste. Marie District - 1963 





President 


Farmer 


Non-Resident 


Licences Sold 


1938 


350 


442 


% increase from 1962 


1.3 


10.0 


6.2 


% sample 


18.5 


28.0 


25.8 


No. in sample 


3£9 


98 


114 


No. returned 


206 


77 


CO 


Vo returned 


77.8 


85.7 


72.7 


% not hunting 


4.2 


6.1 


2.4 


% hunting out of District 


20.3 





29.0 


Est. Nc , hunting in 








District 


1501 


328 


303 


7o hunter success 


13.0 


16.4 


29.8 


Man-days per deer 


32.5 


28.3 


19.4 


Average no. days hunted 


4.2 


3.8 


5.8 


Estimated total kill 


195 


54 


90 



Estimated kill for District = 






deer 



A better response to the questionnaire was received from 
farmers and non-residents who increased their returns by 29.9 
and 7.1 per cent over 1962. Resident returns, in contrast, 
dropped from 83.3 to 77.8 per cent. 

Of the resident licence holders in the sample, 4.2 
per cent failed to hunt and an additional 20.3 per cent hunted in 
other Districts. Those hunting in Sault Ste. Marie District report- 
ed a success of 13.0 per cent, 1.0 per cent better than in 1962. 
An estimated 1501 resident licencees hunted an average of 4.2 
days in the District and they harvested an estimated 195 deer. 



The farmer hunters, whose success according to the sample 
increased sharply from 5.0 per cent in 1962 to 16.4 per cent in 
1963, took an estimated 54 deer. This segment of the hunter 
population averaged 3.8 days of hunting and spent 28.3 man-days 
afield for each deer taken. 



The non-residents, who largely hunted in organized camps, 
experienced the most successful hunting, 29.8 per cent of their 
numbers taking deer for an estimated kill of 90 deer. This success 
was 6.7 per cent better than in 1962. They averaged 5.8 days of 
hunting, more than any other group, and required fewer days to 
fill a licence (19.4 man-days per deer). The similarity of this 
non-resident success rate (29.37 c ) to that reported for organized 
camps (29. Q£) gives support to the statement that non-residents 
largely hunt out of organized caiaps. 



- 1 



The estimated total kill for the District of Sault Ste. 
Marie is 339 deer, 58 more than was estimated as being taken in 
1962. This increase of 20.6 per cent in the deer kill under 
unfavourable hunting conditions and with an increase of only 3.1 per 
cent in licence sales can only mean that there ha3 been an increase 
in the size of the available deer population. 

Not included in the above estimate is the deer kill by 
residents who purchased their licences in ether Districts but who 
hunted in Sault Ste. Marie District and by non-residents who 
purchased a $100 moose-deer-bear licence. However, such deer 

hunters are believed to be few in number. 



TABLE III 



Success of Hunters With and Without Dogs 
Sault Ste. Marie District 
1963 





Residents 


Farmers 


Non-residents 


% using dogs 

% success with dogs 

% success without dogs 


19.2 
25.5 
10.4 


35.6 
18.2 
14.0 


14.7 
37.5 
24.1 



Table III shows the percentage of hunters using dogs and 
compares the&r success with those hunting without this aid. As 
you would expect , dogs improved the hunting for all groups. The 
farmers, who are best able to keep dogs, used them to the greatest 
extent, but they also appear to have benefitted least from their 
use, 



As indicated earlier, estimates of total kill have also 
been arrived at through a technique essentially the same as the 
marking-recapture method of estimating population size. The 
estimates thus derived are shown in Table IV, along with the 
values used in the calculations. The total kill estimates 
based on hunter success and total effort estimates, which were 
presented earlier, also appear in Table IV for comparison. 



r 20 - 



TABLE IV 



Derivation of Total Kill Estimates Using 
The Lincoln Index Method 





Residents 


Farmers 


Non-Residents 


(a) No. of successful hunters 








whose licence numbers were re- 








corded in the field. 


31 


10 


30 


(b) No. of successful hunters 








in nail survey. 


28 


13 


17 


(c) No, of successful hunters 








in survey whose numbers were 








recorded in the field. 


4 


4 


8 


Total kill - a x b 

c 


217 


33 


51 


Total kill calculated from 








hunter success and effort 








estimates. 


195 


54 


90 



The estimates for total kill by residents are in quite 
good agreement, the difference being only 22 deer or 10 per cent. 
However, in the case of non-residents and farmers, the estimates 
obtained by the Lincoln index method are substantially lower than 
those obtained from the success and effort data. In evaluating the 
hunt only those estimates derived from success and effort data 
should be regarded as they are based on more extensive data. The 
estimates obtained by the Lincoln index method have been included 
to demonstrate the method as its use may be warranted where some 
means other than the hunter questionnaire can be used in the 
follow-up sampling. 

The practice of selecting names from the licence book 
covers at constant intervals introduces a bias to both methods of 
estimating total kill. For a sample of hunters thus drawn to be 
completely random the hunters whose names appear on a given book 
cover or on consecutive book covers would have to be independent 
of one another. This, however, is not always the case. Party 
hunters occasionally purchase their licences at the same place and 
at the same time and such groups generally have a rate of success 
greater than that of the average hunter. By sampling names at a 
fixed interval, as was done, the possibility of selecting two or 
more names of hunters from a single party of hunters could be 
excluded. Should this occur, estimates of total kill which are low 
would be obtained. 



21 



FIGURE I 



SAULT STE. MARIE DISTRICT 



DEER HUNTING ZONES 




Major Winter Range 
1961-1962 
1962-1963 



- 22 - 

A second known bias again applies to both methods of 
estimating kill. Questionnaires were not sent out to the farmer 
and non-resident hunters who were recorded in the field as having 
killed deer. In the case of resident hunters, the names of 
known successful hunters were unintentionally not deleted from the 
list of those who were to receive questionnaires (although this 
worked to our advantage). By withholding the questionnaires for 
which the answers were already known, we, in effect, were assuring 
ourselves of a complete return from that group of successful 
hunters. Unless a 100 per cent return of questionnaires was 
achieved this could result in an over - estimation of hunter success 
and total kill when the total kill is worked out using the success 
rate. The effect with the Lincoln index method would be the 
reverse unless all of the successful hunters who received a question- 
naire made a return. If the returns from these hunters were incom- 
plete the proportion of marks (recorded licence numbers) in the 
survey sample would be high and this would yield a low estimate of 
total kill. Thus, a bias of this nature could widen the gap between 
the total kill estimates obtained by the two methods of calculation. 

As indicated earlier, a high percentage of the questionnaires 
was returned so it is doubtful that this latter bias has introduced 
a serious error. 

The difference existing between the estimates for total 
kill are thought to arise principally from sampling error. The 
fact that the differences were greater when the sample size was 
small would tend to support this view. 

The greater part of the Sault Ste. Marie deer range is 
divided into four zones, the boundaries of which appear in Figure I. 
In the winter of 1£ 61-62, observers in aircraft plotted the distri- 
bution of deer tracks in these zones, thus delineating the winter- 
ing or "yarding :t areas. * It was found at that time that nearly 
all of the deer were concentrated in two areas, one each in zones ~ 
3 and 4. The aerial survey was repeated during the winter of 1962-6^ * 
revealing that the two major wintering areas had remained virtually 
unchanged. The limits of these are plotted in Figure I. Cover, 
to a very great extent, determines the winter distribution of deer 
and in these wintering areas good cover is found. It must be 
pointed out that stands of cover constitute only a small percentage 
of the areas indicated on the map, topography being a factor limiting 
this percentage. 

The hunting pressure in terms of man-days as reported on 
the returned questionnaires and the reported and observed deer 
kills are broken down by zone and township and shown in tabular 
form in the appendix. A summary of this information is presented 
in Table V. 



- 23 - 

TABLE V 



Hunting Pressure and Deer Kill, by Zone, 
in Sault Ste. Marie District 



Zone Reported Reported Known deer 7o of reported % of re- 
man-days deer kill kill man-days ported deer 

kill 



1 


155 


2 


2 


11.6 


3.6 


2 


151 


2 


i:* 


11.3 


3.6 


3 


558 


27 


68 


41.8 


48.2 


4 


366 


23 


72 


27.4 


41.0 


Elsewhere 


105 


2 


2 


7.9 


j ,6 




1335 


56 


163 


100.0 


100.0 



*A11 or nearly all of the total kill. 



The information reported on the questionnaire forms provides 
a relatively unbiased picture of the geographical distribution of 
hunting effort and deer kill. Zones 3 and 4, the areas most densely 
populated with deer, received 69 per cent of the hunting pressure and 
yielded 89 per cent of the deer. Tone 1, the most westerly of the 
four zones, has heavy snowfall annually and thus the deer population 
in this area has been very slow to recover after the heavy starvation 
losses suffered in the winters of 1958-59 and 1959-60. It is 
therefore understandable that only 11.6 per cent of the hunting effort 
was expended in this zone, resulting in 3.6 per cent of the total kill. 
St. Joseph Island (Zone 2) also contributed little to the overall 
kill as the regulation forbidding the use of dogs handicaps the 
hunting in that area. Recently, there has been some criticism by 
the public of the Department policy of allowing hunting to continue 
in areas with low deer densities. It is clearly evident that hunting 
in such areas is having very little effect on deer numbers, as has 
been our argument in support of the general open season. 



- 24 - 



TABLE VI 



Age Composition of the 1961 , 1S62 and 1963 Deer Kills, 
in Sault Ste. Marie District 



Age 


1961 




1962 




1063 






No, 


=A of total 


-J°-i 


% of total 


No. 


% of total 


1/2 


4S 


45.0 


32 


27.6 


36 


32.1 


1-1/2 


24 


22.0 


21 


18.1 


14 


12.5 


2-1/2 


11 


10.1 


17 


14.6 


24 


21.4 


3-1/2 


11 


10.1 


14 


12.1 


15 


13.4 


4-1/2 


6 


5.5 


10 


8.6 


6 


5.4 


5-1/2 


5 


4.6 


11 


9.5 


5 


4.5 


6-1/2 


o 


2.7 


./ 


7.8 






7-1/2 






1 


.9 






Unaged adults 






1 


.9 


12 


10.7 


Total 


109 




116 




112 





A total of 100 deer were aged by 
additional 12 deer were classified as being 
adult does and fawns made up 35.7, 32.1 and 
sample of 112 deer, respectively. Hunters, 
reported a kill consisting of 34.7 per cent 
that, with respect to the fawn composition, 
represents the total kill. 



qualified personnel and an 
adult. Adult bucks, 
32.1 per cent of this 
on the questionnaire forms, 
fawns so it would appear 
the aged sample reliably 



Table VI gives the frequency of deer in each age group for 
the 1963 season and also for the two previous years. Several features 
of the tabulation are noteworthy, the first being the increase in 
the percentage of fawns over 1962. The contribution of fawns to the 
1963 kill, although 4.5 per cent better than in the previous year, 
still remained lower than the 45 per cent observed in 1961. The 
appearance of the 2-1/2 year old deer in strength (21.4%) in the 1963 
sample indicates that the survival of the strong 1961 year-class has 
been better than the 1962 age information would suggest. Yearlings 
comprised only 12.5 per cent of aged deer, further emphasizing the 
detrimental affect which the severe winter of 1961-62 had on repro- 
duction. 



- 25 - 



TABLE VII 





Temporal Distribution of the ] 
Determined from Camp and Huntei 


.563 Deer Kill - 
• Questionnaires 










Kill 


November 

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 


16 


Camps 


14 


5 


12 


. 1 
43 


6 


11 


1 


2 


4 


7 


8 


8 


3 




Accumulated % 


16 


22 


35 


50 


63 


64 


66 


71 


79 


88 


97 


100 


All 


Kill 


11 


1 


2 


8 


2 


6 


3 


1 


2 


1 


4 


2 


4 


Hunters 


Accumulated 7 


23 


26 


30 


47 


51 


64 


70 


72 


77 


79 


87 


92 


100 



The temporal distribution of the deer kill as indicated by 
the dates of kill reported on the hunter and camp questionnaire forms 
is shown in Table VII. The percentages shown at each date represent 
the accumulated percentage of the total kill to that date. The initial 
day of the season produced the largest kill, as is usual, and by the 
end of the fifth day, half of the total kill had been taken. Of 
interest is the effect which rainfall had on the level of harvest. 
One-half inch of rain fell over the two days, November 4th and 5th, and 
on these days the reported kill was low, especially for the organized 
camps. A comparison of the kill on the two mid-weekend days further 
demonstrates the adverse effect of rain. Camp hunters reported taking 
11 deer on Saturday when .10 inches of rain fell, and only 1 deer on 
Sunday when the rainfall amounted to .42 inches. The hunter question- 
naires show six and three deer being taken on Saturday and Sunday, 
respectively. 



A synopsis of the weather and ground conditions which 
existed during the deer season appears in the appendix. In general, 
conditions were very unfavourable. Below normal precipitation during 
the autumn months coupled with a complete lack of rain or snow during 
the first five days cf the season resulted in extremely dry ground 
conditions which made quiet travel and tracking difficult. The .70 
inches of rain which fell over the following three days served as a 
deterrent to the normally large group of weekend hunters and provided 
only temporary relief from the handicapping effect of dryness. By 
Thursday of the second week dry conditions again existed and this 
state continued throughout the remainder of the season. Mid-day 
temperatures during the first week ranged between 50 and 57 degrees, 
making outdoor storage of venison risky. 



• 



i 



Conclusion 

Hunter success improved slightly in 1963, but not suffi- 
ciently enough to cake the average hunter aware of any difference. 
In view of the poor hunting weather, this snail increase in success 
can only mean that there has been an increase in the deer population. 
Fortunately, seme hunters noted an increase in the number of deer 
tracks, despite the dry ground conditions which prevailed, and there- 
fore are in agreement with this conclusion,, The preceding winter was 
only moderately severe and this and an improved fawn crop are 
considered responsible for the change, A large number of 2-1/2 year- 
old doer in the sample of aged deer indicates that the 1SS1 year°class, 
which was extremely strong in its first year, has had a better survival 
rate than the 196?. age composition data led us to believe. Licence 
sales which had been declining in recent years increased very slightly 
in 1963, suggesting that a measure of stability has come to hunting 
pressure,, 

It is recommended that the deer season on 3t. Joseph 
Island be extended to two weeks and be timed to coincide with the 
season on the mainland. This will, give the hunters on the island, 
who are forced to hunt without dogs s a better chance to harvest deer. 
It is doubtful the annuel kill with the present season exceeds 
5 or 10 per cant of the island's deer population. 



It is also recommended that the Canadian Customs officers 
at the International Bridge be asked to collect information on deer 
kills in 1964,, Such information was collected in 1963 by Customs 
Officers but unfortunately the data sheet was misplaced at their 
of £ic e , 

Ackn . . 



A great many individuals, conservation officers, rangers, 

and hunters, contributed ::o this report both in time and information 
and for their participation and continued good co-operation we extend 
our most sincere thanks. Mr, Grant Denley provided able assistance 
by sending out the questionnaires and filing the returns. 



- 27 - 
References 

1. Lewis, C. A. 1962. The 1962 Beer Season, Sault Ste. Marie 

District, Unpublished Report, Ont. Dept. of Lands & 
Forests. 

2. Lewis, C. A. 1962. Sault Ste. Marie District Spring Deer 

Surveys, 1962. Unpublished Report, Ont. Dept. of 
Lands & Forests. 

3. Payne, N. R. 1963. Spring Deer Surveys, Sault Ste. Marie 

District, 1963. Unpublished Report, Ont. Dept. of 
Lands & Forests. 



APPENDIX I 



23 





Hunting 


Pressure and Deer Kill by 






Zone and Township - 1963 




ZONE 1 


Township 


Man- days * 


Reported * 


Known Deer** 






of Hunting 


Deer Kill 


Kill 




Archibald 













Aweres 


42 









Dennis 


1 


1 


1 




Deroche 


5 








Fenwick 


44 








Fisher 











Gaudette 


3 


1 


1 




Herrick 











Hodgins 


16 








Havilland 











Jarvis 


13 








Kars 











Korah 


8 








Ley 


2 








Marne 











Palmer 


1 








Prince 


19 








Ryan 

Total 


1 

155 


~T~ 


~2~ 


ZONE 2 






• 






Hilton 


26 




2 




Jocelyn 


94 


2 


11 




St. Joseph 


29 




4 




Unknown 
Total 


2 

151 


~2~ 


2 

19 



* From Hunter Questionnaires 
** Reported & examined kills 



2- - 



APPENDIX I Cont'd 



Hunting Pressure and Deer Kill by 
Zone and Township - 1963 



ZONE 3 


Township 


Man- days * 


Reported * 


Known ** 






of Hunting 


Deer Kill 


Deer Kill 




Aberdeen 


50 


3 


9 




Anderson 


2 








Br idg land 


13 


1 


1 




Che s ley 


13 


1 


1 




Chesley Add. 











Duncan 


51 


2 


5 




Galbraith 


23 


3 


5 




Gillxnor 











Haughton 
Johnson 


30 
24 


4 


1 
8 




Kehoe 


57 


4 


11 




Kirkwood 


17 








Laird 


27 


1 


1 




Lefroy 


7 


1 


2 




McMahon 


17 


1 


1 




MacDonald 


20 


1 


1 




Meredith 


32 


4 


12 




Morin 


44 


1 


1 




Otter 


14 








Plummer 


73 








Plunoer Add. 


3 








Rose 


17 








Tarbutt 


4 








195 


13 




9 




201 

Total 


2 

553 


~27 


"68 



* From Hunter Questionnaires 
** Reported and examined kills 



- 30 - 



APPENDIX I Cont'd 



Hunting Pressure hy Zone and Township 

1963 



ZONE 4 


Township 


Man- days * 


Reported * 


Known ** 






of Hunting 


Deer Kill 


Deer Kill 




Bright 




3 


3 




Cobden 


10 


1 


9 




Day 


9 


1 


1 




Gould 


33 


4 


5 




Grasset 


28 


1 


5 




Gladstone 


62 


2 


11 




Mack 


1 




1 




Montgomery 


16 


3 


15 




Parkinson 


30 


1 


1 




Patton 


26 


3 


11 




Scarfe 


19 




1 




Striker 


21 








Thompson 


16 


2 


3 




Wells 


Q 

a 








161 


O 


1 


1 




162 











163 


fj 

o 








167 


J 




4 




168 


6J 








169 











188 


6 


1 


1 




Total 


366 


23 


72 






From Hunter Questionnaires 
Reported & examined kills 



"■ J A. 



APPENDIX I Cont'd 



« -a 



Hunting Pressure by Zone and Township 

1963 



OTHER THAN IN ZONES 1-4 








Township 


Man- days * 


Reported * 


Known ** 




of Hunting 


Deer Kill 


Deer Kill 


Curtis 


2 






Whitman 


15 






Est en 


4 


1 


1 


Lewis 








Long 


9 






McGivern 








Proctor 


4 


1 


1 


Spragge 


1 






ID 


1 






2A 


2 






2E 


2 






33 


6 






3E 


2 






4D 


6 






7D 


1 






143 


10 






150 


12 






155 


IS 






157 


7 






28 R XVI 


5 






Total 


105 


T" 


~F 



* 
** 



From Hunter Questionnaires 
Reported &. essamined kills 



APPENDIX II 



- 32 - 



Deer Season Weather Report 
Station S.S. Marie District S.S. Marie 



Cloud Cover Code 
Overcast - 
Partly Cloudy - P 
Clear - C 







Weather 


Conditions 






Ground Conditions 




Cloud 


In. Rain 


In. Snow 


Max. 


Min. 


%Snow 


Avg. Snow 


Ground 


Date 


Cover 


Falling 


Falling 


Tenp. 


Temp. 


Cover 


Depth 


wet, dry, 
frozen 


Nov. 4 


P 





none 


35 


39 


none 





dry 


5 





trace 


none 


53 


43 


none 





dry 


6 


P 





none 


57 


39 


none 





dry 


7 


P 





none 


56 


39 


none 





dry 


8 


C 





none 


50 


39 


none 





dry 


9 





.10 


none 


50 


35 


none 





dry 


10 


P 


.42 


none 


52 


36 


none 





wet 


11 


P 


1 o 


none 


43 


36 


none 





wet 


12 





.00 


none 


43 


35 


none 





wet 


13 


p 


trace 


none 


44 


30 


none 





wet 


14 








none 


37 


33 


none 





dry 


15 


p 





none 


46 


32 


none 





dry 


16 


p 





none 


54 


40 


none 





dry 



-..'■•. 



. 



SAULT STE, MARIE 

Deer Hunter Questionnaire : 



33 



November 18th, 1963. 



Resident Licence Number 
Non-resident 

Farmer 



Dear Hunter: 

You have been selected as part of a sample of persons who 
purchased a deer licence this fall. Your promptness and accuracy in 
returning the following questionnaire will be very useful to us. We 
need your co-operation in order to make suitable management recom- 
mendations for next season. Please return TODAY. 



Nov. 



Mon. 


Nov. 


4 


Tues. 


Nov. 


5 


Wed. 


Nov. 


6 


Thurs. 


Nov. 


7 


Fri. 


Nov. 


8 


Sat. 


Nov. 


9 


Sun. 


Nov. 


10 


Hon. 


Nov. 


11 



Tues. Nov. 12 

Wed. Nov. 13 

Thurs. Nov. 14 

Fri. Nov. 15 

Sat. Nov. 16 



Town ship Hunted 1. Did you hunt this past deer season? 

YES NO 



2. At left list TOWNSHIPS you hunted 
in, opposite dates hunted. 

3, Was a deer taken on your licence? 



No 



Yes 

If you answered yes check ones 

Buck Buck faw n 

Doe Doe fawn ______ 

On what day of the month was it 
killed? 

Where was it killed? (Give as 
nearly as possible in miles and 
direction from nearest town. 
Example: 10 miles M.W. of Thes salon 



6. Did you use dogs? Yes_ 



No 



7. Non-residents: At what point did 
you cross the Ontario border when 
returning home? 



Sincerely, 



NRP/bh 



J • W • Loc kwood , 
District Forester. 



1963 DEER HUNT - SAULT STE. MARIE DISTRICT 



Name of person recording 
Address 



Exact location of hunt camp 



What is the total number of licences that could be filled in your 

Camp? 

No 



Do you use dogs? Yes 

Please enter daily hunting record 
below: 



No. of 1963 hunt reports 
wanted 



Day 


No. of men 
hunting 


Deer killed 




Township where 
deer killed 


Buck 


Doe 


Fawn 


Mon. Nov. 4 












1 Tues. Nov. 5 












i Wed. Nov. 6 












1 Thurs* Nov. 7 












I Fri. Nov. 8 












Sat, Nov. 9 












Sun. Nov. 10 












Mon, Nov. 11 












Tues. Nov, 12 












Wed. Nov. 13 












Thurs, Nov. 14 












Fri. Nov. 15 












Sat. Nov. 16 













RESIDENTS : We need deer jaws for ageing! 



THE USE OF DAILY COMMERCIAL FISHING RECORDS TO DESCRIBE THE SEASONAL 
DISTRIBUTION OF THE AMERICAN SMELT IN THE CENTRAL BASIN OF LAKE ERIE* 

by 
R. D. Thomas son 
Graduate Student, Department of Zoology 
University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario 



Abstract 

An analysis of the compulsory daily fishing reports 
of trawl and pound net fishermen has provided a 
picture of the seasonal movement and distribution of 
the American Smelt, Osmerus mordax (Mitchill), in 
a portion of the central basin of Lake Erie. The 
reports of the mobile trawl fishery, in particular, 
provide an available and potentially useful source 
of information on the abundance and distribution of 
Smelt o 



Introduction 

A major fishery for the American Smelt, Osmerus mordax 
(Mitchill), is located in the northwest portion of the central 
basin of Lake Erie. Commercial harvests from this area chosen for 
study made up 30.4 per cent of the 12,034,588 millions of pounds 
of the species harvested from the Canadian waters of Lake Erie 
during 1961. 

The study area of 1,100 square miles is bounded on the 
north by the Ontario shoreline and on the south by the Canada- 
United States boundary (Figure 1). The lake bottom is typically 
flat with deposits of silt, sand, or clay and lends itself 
favourably to fishing with either trawl or pound net. Water depths 
reach 80 feet in offshore waters. 

This paper describes the seasonal distribution of smelt 
within the study area as determined by an analysis and interpretation 
of the daily catch statistics of the commercial fishermen. The 
study is based on smelt harvests by 13 trawlers and 60 pound nets, 
collectively responsible for the total commercial catch from the 
area during 1S61. 



*Extracted from Master's Thesis, Department of Zoology, 
University of Guelph. 



Methods 

The commercial fishing records used in the study were 
provided by the Commercial Fish Section of the Ontario Department 
of Lands and Forests „ Two types of data were made available: 
statistics compiled by that Department 5 and the daily compulsory 
reports of the commercial fishermen. However, the picture of the 
fishery has been developed only from the daily fishing reports. 

Catch per unit effort data (Hile, 1962) were used to 
determine the relative abundance of smelt and, if present, to 
describe the location of smelt concentrations. Smelt concentrations 
were defined arbitrarily as those areas where one- third of the daily 
catches by trawls exceeded 500 pounds per trawl-hour. Daily catch 
statistics were grouped on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for the 
subsequent description of seasonal smelt distribution. 

Because of the mobility of trawlers and their ability 
to fish at all depths for smelt detected by echo sounder, the 
picture of seasonal smelt distribution was derived largely from 
the trawl fishery rather than the more-or-less sedentary pound 
net fishery. As the trawlers normally located smelt concentrations 
by running a transect from their home port with echo sounder in 
operation, the nearest smelt population to the home port of either 
Wheatley or Erieau was usually fished. The absence of harvests 
closer to the home port indicated that the echo sounder had not 
detected smelt in sufficient abundance to justify fishing. The 
location of Wheatley and Erieau at the extreme western and eastern 
limits, respectively, of the study area ensured a fair sampling of 
the area by trawlers working out of these ports. 

The pound net fishery provided data on the onshore fishery 
to depth of 30 feet and gave valuable supplemental information to 
that of the trawl fishery by indicating the relative seasonal 
abundance of smelt in shoal waters. 

Both the pound net and trawl fisheries were selective 
in capturing smelt commonly with a fork length greater than 
5.5 inches. 

Summer limnological conditions within the study area 
were obtained during cruises of the research vessel Keenosay 
operated by the Wheatley Laboratory of the Fisheries Section of 
the Research Branch, Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. 



- 37 - 



Smelt Harvests 

Commercial smelt harvests from the study area during 
1961 totalled 3,897,039 pounds. Trawls operating 315C.5 hours 
were responsible for 56.9 per cent of the harvest. The balance 
of the catch was taken by pound nets set for 4,749 net-days. 

Harvest statistics are summarized in Table I on the 
basis of bi-weekly intervals and shown graphically in Figure 2. 
Reference to the total catch shows that two major peaks occurred 
in the fishery. The first peak was between late February and 
early May, the second from mid- June to early September. 

Pound net catches were at a maximum only from mid-April 
to early May, reflecting substantial numbers of smelt in shoal 
waters during the spawning period. Only at that time of year 
did pound net catches exceed those of the trawlers. Trawl catches 
were large during late February and March indicating the avail- 
ability of substantial numbers of smelt to the trawl fishery 
immediately preceding the spawning season. A second major trawl 
fishery for smelt occurred during the summer extending from the 
latter part of June through August. The spring fishery by pound 
nets and trawls (February 26 to May 6) made up 25.6 per cent and 
the summer fishery (June 10 to September 9) 61.0 per cent of the 
total annual catch. 

Fishing quality by pound nets averaged 1,175 pounds 
of smelt per net-day between April 9th and May 6th and the harvest 
during this period made up 85.1 per cent of the total pound net 
catch for the year. During the peak period of the Spring trawl 
fishery from February 26th to March 25th, a harvest of 2,134,029 
pounds was taken at a rate of 970 pounds per trawl-hour. The 
summer trawl fishery harvested 1,310,523 pounds at a rate of 632 
pounds per trawl-hour between June 13th and August 26th and was 
responsible for 59.1 per cent of the annual trawl harvest of 
smelt. 

Although catch per unit effort (Table I) exceeded 500 
pounds per trawl-hour during bi-weekly intervals other than those 
within the two peak periods just described, the actual numbers 
of smelt caught were relatively low and represented catches by 
trawlers fortunate enough to locate sufficient quantities of smelt 
to justify trawling. 



1 'N 

3 L; 



Seasonal Distr ibuti on of Snelt 

The location of snelt concentrations during 1961, as 
detemined by an analysis of the daily records of trawlers 
operating from the ports of Wheat ley and Erieau are given in 
Table II. 

No indication of any concentrations was evident from 
fishing records prior to raid-February nor after raid -September. 
Smelt were found to be concentrated in comparatively shallow 
water when first located in February, particularly in the 
Pte. aux Pins area, but moved into deeper water during March. 
Onshore concentrations in less than 40 feet of water were fished 
during April concurrent with the major pound net fishery in 
shoal waters at spawning time. 

Following spawning, no further concentration of smelt 
was located by the trawl fishery from the end of April until 
the middle of June. A substantial concentration was located 
in mid-June which by late June exceeded an estimated area of 
200 square miles at an average depth of approximately 60 feet. 
This concentration contributed a significant harvest. 

During July and August, offshore concentrations of 
smelt at an average water depth of 66 feet provided a worthwhile 
summer fishery. The identity of these concentrations had dis- 
appeared by early September and, although a concentration was 
located briefly again during the week of September 17th, the 
analysis of fishing data indicated a general dispersal of the 
summer smelt concentration in September followed by a random 
distribution through the study area during the remainder of the 
year. 

In Figure III are plotted the approximate locations of 
smelt concentrations as derived by an analysis of the trawl fishery 
for early March shortly after the formation of the spring onshore 
concentrations, and for late August shortly before the autumn 
dispersal of smelt from the offshore hypolimnion. 

Summer Limnolo gica l Conditions 

Evidence in support of the observation of Sand and 
Gordon (1960) that smelt frequent bottom waters during daylight 
hours has been provided for the central basin of Lake Erie by 
firstly, a study of echo tracings provided by commercial fishermen 
and, secondly, the experience of trawl fishermen in reaping their 
harvests from bottom waters. An analysis of trawl records lias 
shown the catch of smelt to have come entirely from within the 
hypolimnion of offshore waters during the summer months. 



A summary of minimum water temperatures and dissolved 
oxygen levels within the hypolimnion during the summer months is 
given in Table III. The hypolimnion during that period averaged 
25.5 feet in thickness and was as thin as 5 feet at at least two 
locations in late August, Average minimum water temperatures in- 
creased from 11.3 C. in June to 14.0° C. by mid-August at the 
stations sampled. Dissolved oxygen concentrations in bottom 
waters decreased from an average of 6.0 ppm. in June to 3.9 ppm. 
by late August. 

Smelt concentrations on the dates of the limnological 
surveys were detected at 10 sampling stations within the hypolim- 
nion at bottom depths ranging from 48 to 80 feet, water tempera- 
tures of 12 « 2 to 15.6° C, and dissolved oxygen levels of 2.4 to 
9.0 ppm. The hypolimnion at these stations averaged 28.1 feet 
and was as thin as 13.0 feet. 

Although the limited data precludes any significant 
correlation between smelt distribution and either water tempera- 
ture or dissolved oxygen levels, both of these factors tended to 
become more critical for smelt survival as the summer progressed. 

Discussion 

The primary purpose of this paper has been to report 
on a study to determine the usefulness of the compulsory daily 
reports of commercial fishermen as a basis for describing the 
seasonal movement and distribution of fish. The study has shown 
that by analysis of trawling statistics supplemented by those of 
the pound net fishery, it has been possible to provide a reason- 
ably sound account of the distributional pattern of adult smelt 
in a portion of the central basin of lake Erie during 1961, 

The major limitations in the use of these data include, 
firstly, the accuracy of the commercial fishermen in recording 
location, fishing effort, and harvest; secondly, the adequacy 
of the sampling of the study area by the commercial operations; 
and thirdly, the ability of the investigator to translate and 
interpret the information recorded by the fishermen. In spite of 
these inherent sources of error, the compulsory daily commercial 
reports have provided useful and reasonably reliable biological 
information on the American Smelt and are a readily available source 
of potentially useful data for future studies. 



- 40 - 



Acknowledgments 

The author expresses his thanks to the Commercial Fish 
Section of the Fish and Wildlife Branch of the Ontario Department 
of Lands and Forests for making commercial fishing records available 
for analysis, and to the Fisheries Section of the Research Branch 
of the sane Department for the use of the research facilities at 
their Wheatley Station. 

References 

Hile, Ralph, IS 62. Collection and Analysis of Commercial Fishery 
Statistics in the Great Lakes. Tech. Rept. No. 5, 
December: 11-16. 

Sand, R, F. and W. B. Gordon, 1960. Exploratory Fishing in Lake 
Erie, September, 1958 - November, 1959. Comm. Fish 
Review, 22(c): 1-12. 



- 41 - 







43 














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- 42 - 



TABLE II 

The Weekly Location of Concentrations of American Snelt During 
1961 as Determined by An Analysis of Compulsory Daily Commercial 
Trawl Reports. 



Weeks of 




Location From 




Water 


Approx. 




Erieau 


Wheat ley 


Depth 


Area 




Course 


Miles Course 


Miles 


(ft.) 


(sq. miles) 




(0) 




(0) 








Previous 




no 


concentration 


indicated 




to Feb. 19 














Feb. 19 


83 


6 


69 


38 


38 


9 


Feb. 26 


80 


8 


70 


40 


40 


30 


March 5 


82 


9 


70 


41 


40 


29 


it 


233 


27 


118 


10 


60 


3 


March 12 


98 


7 


73 


39 


66 


19 


ii 


210 


29 


129 


20 


72 


166 


March 19 


229 


27 


118 


12 


60 


19 


March 26 


217 


30 


132 


16 


66 


47 


April 2 


219 


25 


116 


16 


66 


58 


April 9 




no 


concentration 


indicated 




April 16 


160 


1 


67 


32 


30 


1 


April 23 


147 


3 


71 


33 


36 


2 


April 30 




no 


concentration 


indicat 


ed 




to June 4 














June 11 


226 


31 


140 


12 


54 


21 


June 18 


222 


29 


128 


14 


60 


119 


June 25 


221 


26 


119 


15 


66 


231 


July 2 


222 


25 


115 


14 


66 


137 


it 


150 


11 


85 


36 


72 


1 


July 9 


223 


25 


115 


14 


66 


131 


ii 


216 


10 


79 


24 


66 


1 


July 16 


224 


28 


127 


19 


60 


36 


it 


219 


19 


36 


22 


66 


96 


July 23 


227 


19 


91 


17 


66 


203 


July 30 


228 


23 


76 


13 


60 


23 


19 


225 


10 


101 


23 


66 


55 


August 6 


224 


22 


101 


17 


66 


85 


ti 


134 


12 


89 


24 


66 


12 


August 13 


196 


25 


117 


26 


72 


74 


August 20 


196 


23 


111 


26 


72 


75 


August 27 














to Sept. 10 




no 


concentration 


indicat 


ed 




Sept, 17 


238 


21 


84 


12 | 


60 


19 


Rest of Year 




no 


concentration 


indicat 

i 


ed 





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44 - 




Miles 

i \ 1 

10 2f 



Figure I 



Location of the Study Area Within the Central 
Basin of Lake Erie. 



- L ^ - 



O 
o 
o 



* 



CO 



O 

a 

o 
CO 

o 



400 




t r 

Jan Mar May 



July Sept Nov 



Figure II Total Commercial Harvest of Smelt by Trawls 
and Pound Nets Within the Study Area During 
1961. 



- 46 - 




Figure III 



Concentrations of Smelt Within the Study 

Area During Early March and Late August 

As Derived From an Analysis of Trawl Records 






- 47 - 
WINTER ANGLING FOR BROOK TROUT IN THE PORT ARTHUR FOREST DISTRICT 

by 

P. Nunan 
Conservation Officer 

Abstract 

A survey of the effects of winter fishing on brook 
trout (Salvelinus fontinalis ) was conducted by 
Fish and Wildlife staff in the months of February to 
April, 1964. Angling success was .49 fish per hour. 
This was considered good enough to justify an earlier 
opening but not heavy enough to cause any concern to 
summer anglers. It was concluded that any lake 
receiving exceptionally heavy winter angling could be 
stocked with catchable sized fish shortly after 
break-up . 



Introduction 

The open season for angling brook trout (Salvelinus 
fontinalis ) in the Port Arthur Forest District has been, traditionally, 
from May 1 to September 15 each year. In the early months of the 
winter of 1963 - 1^54 there was a fairly large number of requests 
for winter angling. We were not in a position to advise anglers 
what they could expect so tests were arranged to determine: 

(a) is it possible to catch enough brook trout to make 
winter fishing worthwhile? 

(b) is it possible that winter fishing could be successful 
enough to seriously affect open water fishing? 

(c) to determine the reaction of the public to winter 
fishing. 

Methods 

Our program was widely announced to conservation clubs, 
service clubs and other organizations as well as to the press 
through News Releases. 

Fishing was restricted to Fish and Wildlife staff so that 
we would have control of all activities. 

Tests were run on Sunset Lake in Lismore Township and 
Echo (Strange) Lake in Strange Township. These lakes were chosen 
because they had been heavily stocked in 1963 and because access 
was relatively easy. 






;•■ '• 



- 48 - 

Baits and methods were any that winter anglers might be 
expected to use, from pieces of freshly cut up minnows to various 
jigs. Lines were either hand held or set and attended. 

Results 

There was a total of 222 man-hours of fishing and 109 fish 
were landed for an average of .49 fish per man-hour — Table I. 

Fishing was most successful in February and April. It 
was very slow in March. 

The largest number of fish taken was on April 8 at Echo 
Lake when 22 fish were taken in 20 man-hours of angling. 

It was not possible to detect a difference in the 
effectiveness of baits or to prove that hand held lines were better 
than set lines. 

Angling was most effective on warm days or when the 
weather was turning from cold to warm. It was poor in cold weather 
or xtfhile the weather was turning cold. 

Angler reaction was, unfortunately, not recorded on forms 
set up for the purpose and we are unable to produce figures. There 
has, however, been almost no opposition to the idea of winter 
fishing. Some anglers were uncertain about it being good or bad. 
They wanted to see the results of the study first. The majority 
(and it appears to be large) of the comments were in favour of ice 
fishing and two or three were emphatic in their feeling. 

Conclusions 

1. The public generally favours an extension of the 
present trout season. 

2. Angling was successful enough to justify having an 
open season. 

3. Angling was not so successful that open water fishing 
would be seriously affected. Since brook trout fishing in lakes 

is maintained through hatchery stocking, lakes subjected to heavy 
winter fishing could be restocked with catchable sized fish shortly 
after break-up in the spring. This would be one of the best possible 
uses for hatchery trout. 









. 









■ . ■ 



- q.y - 



Acknowledgments 

Several members of the Fish and Wildlife staff assisted 
in the fishing and I wish to thank William Sameluk, John Morton, 
Vern Sheeler, Paul Bougie, Emil Ostrum and Arnold Draves. 

Mr. C. A. Elsey helped tc set up the program and gave 
assistance in preparing the report as well as guidance as the 
survey progressed. 



TABLE I 



Angling Success 













No, of Man-hrs. 
Fished 


February 
30 


March 
121 


April 
71 


Tctal 
222 


No. of Fish 
Landed 


18 


47 


44 


109 


No. of Fish 
Taken per Hr. 
Per Angler 


.60 


.39 


.63 





Average number of fish taken 
per hour per angler .49 



- 50 - 

REPORT ON THE WHITE LAKE FISHERY PROJECT, 19S3 

by 

D. J. Rice 

Conservation Officer 

White River District 

Abstract 

This is the third year report of a four year si 
undertaken to determine over a prolonged period of 
time the effect of intense angling pressure on a 
lake hitherto unexploited. Results showed a sharp 
drop in angling success between 1961 and 1962. 
Although 1963 angling pressure decreased considerably 
from that of 1961 and 1962 angling success indicated 
a levelling off. Tables and graphs showing angling 
success by months over the summer period are presented. 



Introduction 

During the summer of 1961, an intensive creel census 
survey was begun on White Lake in this District. At that time a 
census technique was established which was felt to be sufficiently 
accurate to give a true picture of angling success without unduly 
taxing personnel. This method proved satisfactory and was continued 
in 1962 and 1963. The method was fully described in the report for 
1961 (Wilton, 1961) and will not be mentioned here. 

Methods 

The methods used in collecting the creel census data were 
exactly the same as those used in 1962 which varied only slightly 
from those used in 1961. The method of tabulating the data was 
exactly the same as in 1961 and 1962. 

The census period extended from the opening of walleye 
season, May 12, until September 15, at which time all heavy angling 
pressure had ceased. 

Results 

Table 1 shows the angling success results derived from 
actual information before any conversions of any kind were made. 

Graphs 1 to 4 show the differential angling success on a 
monthly basis. 



- 51 - 



TABLE 1 

Angling Success Derived from Information Received Before Any 
Conversions Were Made. 



No. Pickerel caught per rod-hour 
No. Pike Caught per rod-hour 
No. Fish caught per rod-hour 

No. Pickerel retained per rod-hour 
No. Pike retained per rod-hour 
No. Fish retained per rod-hour 

Lbs. Pickerel retained per rod-hour 
Lbs. Pike retained per rod-hour 
Lbs. Fish retained per rod-hour 



June July August September 



0.85 0.45 
0.07 0.13 
0.92 0.58 



0.50 
0.04 
0.54 

0.60 
0.05 
0.65 



0.29 
0.08 
0.37 

0.38 
0.08 
0.46 



0.52 

0.18 



0.33 
0.12 
0.45 

0,32 
0.22 

0.54 



0.50 
0.37 
0.87 

0.33 
0.27 
0.60 

0.43 
0.44 
0.87 



Av. Wt. in lbs. per pickerel retained 1.21 1.32 0.98 1.29 
Av, Wt. in lbs, per pike retained 1.41 1.81 1.C2 1.64 
Av. Wt. in lbs. per fish retained 1.22 1.42 1.20 1.45 



Graph #1 



- 52 - 
Fish Caught Per Rod-hour by Months 



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June 



July 



August 



Sept. 



Graph #2 



- 53 - 
Fish Retained Per Rod-hour by Months 



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August 



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Graph #3 



- 54 - 
Lbs. Fish Retained Per Rod-hour by Months 



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June 



July 



August 



Sept 



Graph #4 Av. Wt. in Lbs. Per Fish Retained by Months 



to 

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Table 2 shows the calculated angling success stratified on 
a monthly basis. 

Table 3 shows the calculated angling success on a summer 
basis. 

Table 4 shows the comparison of angling pressure and success 
on a summer basis for the years 19G1, 1962 and 1963. 

The figures shown represent the data collected for the 
months of June, July, August and September only. Due to the 
absence of staff, no information was obtained for the month of 
May of 1963, therefore May has not been included in the comparison. 

Discussion of Results 

The comparison of angling success between 1961 and 

1962 indicated a sharp drop. In the comparison of the 1962 and 

1963 data, although the amount of angling pressure lias decreased 
considerably from that of 1961 and 1962, the angling success would 
indicate a levelling off. However, no conclusions will be drawn 
until one more year's data have been collected and tabulated. 

Acknowledgments 

Thanks are due to the members of the Fish and Wildlife 
staff of the White River District for their willing co-operation in 
this study. 

References 

Rice, D. J., 1962. A Report on the White Lake Fishery. 

Unpublished Report, Ontario Dept. of Lands & Forests, 
White River. 

Wilton, M. L., 1962. A Preliminary Report on the White Lake Fishery, 
1961. Resource Mgt. Report No. 61, January. 



- 57 



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